Chamber Military Network set to continue nationwide with Armed Forces Covenant Initiative

11 Feb 2022

Published in: Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce has announced today (11th February) that it will continue to run a national programme of support for the Armed Forces Covenant following the announcement of additional funding for this second stage.

With the full backing of the British Chambers of Commerce and Chambers of Commerce across England and Wales, the Chamber Military Network, initially set up in 2019, helps to improve the knowledge and understanding within organisations of the Covenant.

It also helps organisations to understand the business benefits of recruiting from the Armed Forces Community, through the development of marketing support packages, mentoring and engagement opportunities on a national scale.

Today’s announcement comes after Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) awarded the Chamber further funding of £129,000 to deliver the package of support that provides all Chambers of Commerce across England and Wales with the tools, knowledge and understanding to effectively promote the value of the Armed Forces Covenant to business.

Working with the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Relationship Management (DRM), the Black Country Chamber of Commerce team will continue to work as the lead Chamber within the British Chambers, supporting their business members, and the wider Armed Forces Community.

As evidenced in earlier work, this will encourage a proactive approach to carrying out Covenant pledge commitments, increase the profile of the Armed Forces Community in business and connect military-owned businesses with commercial opportunities.

Thomas McBarnet, Director of Programmes at Forces in Mind Trust, said, “It’s great to see the Chamber Military Network build on the progress made in the first stage. Employer engagement is a key activity in our Employment Programme. We strive to enable all ex-Service personnel and their partners to achieve successful employment outcomes upon leaving the Armed Forces.

“The Chamber Military Network has been instrumental in establishing a programme of encouraging all 53 UK Chambers of Commerce to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and seek membership of the DRM Employer Recognition Scheme. We hope this additional funding will stimulate further progress in Chambers signing and promoting the Covenant amongst their membership.”

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said, “The BCC is a proud supporter of the Armed Forces Covenant and has pledged to do all it can to make sure members of the whole defence community are treated fairly and without disadvantage.

“Many of our Chambers and their members already know just how much the Armed Forces community can contribute to businesses, both as employees that bring a wealth of skills, experience, and innovation, and as entrepreneurs driving forward our economy.

“This additional funding is great news as we continue to use our work together with the Chamber Military Network to foster relationships, dispel myths, and support service people and their families.”

Corin Crane, Chief Executive at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said, “This is great news for us here at the Chamber and a real testament to the team’s hard work.

“We have gained a wealth of experience over the years in developing and encouraging engagement between military and business communities and have been able to develop a ‘blueprint’ approach to how the Chamber of Commerce can effectively support the aims of the covenant.

“We have seen the benefits it can have on the well-being of the whole Armed Forces Community, to Veterans, Reservists and spouses of serving personnel.

“We will continue to transfer this knowledge and understanding into the consistent package of support which is now being rolled out on a national scale and are delighted to have been awarded further funding by FiMT to continue our work, and of course to be given the opportunity to further develop our support for the Armed Forces.”

For further information about the Chamber Military Network please visit:

About Forces in Mind Trust

(FiMT): FiMT was founded in November 2011 by a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (now The National Lottery Community Fund).

As a member of Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities and a permanent member of its Executive Committee, the Trust works within the Armed Forces charities sector, and much more widely, to support the UK’s Armed Forces Community.

The vision of Forces in Mind Trust is for all ex-Service personnel and their families to lead fulfilled civilian lives and the mission is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition into civilian life.

The Trust’s strategy is to provide an evidence base that identifies barriers to a successful and sustainable transition, identifies what works to address these barriers and then use this evidence base to influence policy making and service delivery across the UK.

FiMT’s grants and commissions are designed to generate sustained change that improves the lives of ex-Service personnel and their families. FiMT awards grants to support its Change Model based on six outcomes: Housing; Employment; Health; Finance; Criminal Justice System and Relationships.



What we fund:

Twitter: @FiMTrust

About Black Country Chamber of Commerce

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) is the leading regional business support agency for firms based within or doing business across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.

The BCCC operates in a not-for-profit capacity and work hard for their members across the region’s business community.

Through their services and initiatives, they provide platforms and opportunities for businesses to grow, connect and become part of a thriving network which shines a spotlight on the amazing work local companies are doing and helps to make the Black Country a great place to do business.

For further information and for all press enquiries please contact: Sarah Walker, Project Manager at the Chamber Military Network Email: Telephone: 0330 024 0820

About the Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Armed Forces Covenant can be signed by: Businesses of all sizes. Charitable organisations. Local authorities.

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